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Humanities Visa and Kojin Jigyou?

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  • Humanities Visa and Kojin Jigyou?

    I am teaching English on a Humanities Visa and I want to start a side business importing some small products for distribution to some stores here in Japan. I will be keeping the English teaching job.
    Is there any legal problem to do this as a Kojin Jigyou? If so, is there any other way that does not have legal problems? Or, am I just worrying over nothing?
    Other foreigners I know (that have no experience in it, BTW) have told me all manner of advice, ranging from "there is no way" to "as long as you keep your day job and pay your taxes on the profit, you are okay".
    Advice from real experience would be much appreciated.
    Thanks~

  • #2
    Originally posted by nynapaj
    I am teaching English on a Humanities Visa and I want to start a side business importing some small products for distribution to some stores here in Japan. I will be keeping the English teaching job.
    Is there any legal problem to do this as a Kojin Jigyou? If so, is there any other way that does not have legal problems? Or, am I just worrying over nothing?
    Other foreigners I know (that have no experience in it, BTW) have told me all manner of advice, ranging from "there is no way" to "as long as you keep your day job and pay your taxes on the profit, you are okay".
    Advice from real experience would be much appreciated.
    Thanks~

    I did MLM here for about 5 years while teaching English although I was on a spouse visa.

    In japan there is the 'honne' and tatemae' which means the actual situation and the outward appearance of things or the way Japanese want things to appear.

    honne means you dot all your 'i's' and cross your 't's', go to immigration and apply for permission to do jobs outside your visa status. they may say no but thats the chance you take.

    The other alternatiive (tatemae) is to fly under the radar, dont attract attention, maybe not pay taxes or declare income to tax office (tax office will not contract immigration by the way but they may ask questions if your lifetsyle exceeds your declared income or they think you are evading taxes etc). If immigration finds out apologise profusely, say you wont do it again and do what they ask to make amends.

    Technically you are employing yourself and there is no need to tell all about what you are doing to your clients. As long as they get their products on time at a reasonable price everyones happy.

    PS when I did MLM I set myself up as a non YKK business with a separate bank account and used a spare room as an office. Dont make waves and immigration probably wont even know about you. I would worry more about keeping things straight with the tax office more than anything.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KansaiBen
      honne means you dot all your 'i's' and cross your 't's', go to immigration and apply for permission to do jobs outside your visa status. they may say no but thats the chance you take.
      -
      This is one of the questions. I have been told (by HelloWork and immigration people) that, with my current Visa, I am allowed to work in improt/export jobs.
      Now this is an import/export job (so it is not another field), it's just that I am not doing it as an employee of another company.
      By the same token, is it technically illegal for me to teach English privately? Or does the student technically be come my employer for that one hour?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by nynapaj
        -
        This is one of the questions. I have been told (by HelloWork and immigration people) that, with my current Visa, I am allowed to work in improt/export jobs.
        Now this is an import/export job (so it is not another field), it's just that I am not doing it as an employee of another company.
        By the same token, is it technically illegal for me to teach English privately? Or does the student technically be come my employer for that one hour?

        If you are earning under 1 million yen a year from an employer then you dont need to file a tax return or declare your income to the tax office. Effectively making your income tax free.

        If you are working yourself teaching privates (a legal enterprise in Japan but illegal in Korea) then you dont need to tell immigration or tax office, except when you are pulling in over 90,000 a month from students. By that time you are effectively a going concern. I teach privates but they make up less than 30,000 yen a month- its my beer money.

        You are your own employer when teaching privates and you are selling your services (English lessons) to the client. a student cant fire you but can decide he doesnt want to buy what ever it you are offering and votes with his feet. Just like any shop or retail situation.

        If you make enough from privates you can set up a small classroom at home and deduct your expenses such as phone and rent as a proportion of your total expenses. In effect teaching privates can become a tax write-off and you can minimise your taxes on your main income.

        Comment


        • #5
          Me too..

          I am in a somewhat similar situation apart from my partner who was my "employer" to the outside world decided to ditch the business leaving me with 45 customers!
          I agree with Kansaiben that making sure you pay tax is the most important thing, they dont care about immigration.
          I also have a sponsor and spoke to IM and they said that I didnt need any further permission as it was within the same visa category AND I still had a sponsor.
          The remaining issue I can see is that under the Spec Humanities you are not allowed to manage a business only be an employee so technically by being a sole proprietor you are running a business.
          As a lot of foreigners have started businesses as sole proprietors such as Danny Choo and others I am reasonably sure that people just start the business, pay tax and dont tell immigration as strictly its not permitted.

          Therefore my advice and conclusion is to pay tax, keep your sponsor and stay within your visa category of work. If IM find out and pull you up on running a business it should be a smack on the wrist and changing status as you werent breaking any major laws like working with no visa or even in a different category.

          I too am of the opinion that just asking for permission to do everything only gives the opportunity to say no, do what the Japanese do and do what you want within reason and if caught apologise profusely and do what you are told to make the situation right!

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